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filed at 4:45 p.m.
There’s a lot to separate Durham and Yadkinville, North Carolina--a hundred miles of highway, a few hundred thousand person population difference, and, oh yeah, a 180 degree shift in politics.
The first thing I did when I moved to Johannesburg, South Africa last October was buy a car, and the first thing that car did was break down. Just after 8 p.m. one evening, I was driving down an unlit highway off-ramp when my newly purchased 1987 Toyota Corolla shuddered, heaved and then lurched to a dead stop. At the time, I had been the owner of this fine vehicle for approximately 35 minutes.
It begins with saying goodbye. Goodbye to your weird artsy high school and to your weird artsy high school friends. Goodbye to the lanky, sarcastic boy who was the first to ever pay attention to you, to the way that sunsets look sprawled out against the Rocky Mountains, to your parents’ joint custody and to your fat black dog. This is goodbye (although you don’t know this yet) to the days when words like “Shooters” and “boat shoes” meant nothing to you. Nothing at all.
The other day, I was on the C-1, diligently attempting to tune out the chatter around me. But like the sound of a Saladelia wrap being opened in the Carpenter Reading Room, one voice cut across the ambient noise and straight into my brain, impossible to ignore.
In July 1984, Geraldine Ferraro stood on the podium at the Democratic National Convention to accept her party’s nomination for vice president—the first woman in U.S. history to see her name on a major party presidential ticket.
Before Elizabeth Dole was North Carolina’s first female senator, before she was a would-be first lady and, in fact, before she was even Elizabeth Dole, she was the president of the student government of Duke’s Women’s College. In the 1958 issue of The Chanticleer, the Duke yearbook, she sits front and center in the photograph of the Women’s Student Government Association Council, wearing a blazer and a single strand of pearls and flashing a toothy smile. Elsewhere in the book Dole, then Mary Elizabeth Hanford, folds her hands primly in her lap as she poses with her sorority Delta Delta Delta, sits robed in black with the rest of the women’s judicial board and finds herself scrunched between “Hanes, Elizabeth” and “Hankins, Robert” in the senior class portraits. And in every one of the photos, she’s wearing those same pearls.
About a month ago, I opened my e-mail to find a message from someone I didn’t know. “Dickheads,” the salutation read, “we are going to have a party on Saturday. As of now it is a valentines day theme (easy way to get laid).”
The first time it occurred to me that I could have made better use of my foreign language T-req, I was in the back of a station wagon in Dakar, Senegal, trying to figure out how to say no to a traveling porn salesman.
It is the day of the Young Trustee election, and as far as I’m concerned, that can only mean one thing: Time to play the History of the YT Drinking Game.
When Heather Hill was a child, the only foods she would eat were a few standard-order kid staples—mac and cheese, french fries, crackers and chocolate milk.
Four decades ago, Duke looked a little different than it does now. Tailgate was a suit-and-tie gathering before football games, the word “Krzyzewski” was just a random collection of bad Scrabble letters and, oh yeah, every student had a Y chromosome.
“I am not interesting,” I said firmly in French, my syllables clipped and assertive. The Senegalese salesman dangling fabrics in front of my face looked at me curiously. “Look, I said, I’m not interesting,” I repeated and turned sharply away, back into the bustle of the market.
** denotes that an individual’s name has been changed to protect their privacy.
At 6:10 p.m. Saturday, an e-mail message landed in the inboxes of more than 300 Duke women inviting them to a fraternity’s Halloween party at an off-campus apartment.
Ask Fred Moten where his career as a poet began and he’ll tell you—at a nuclear test site.
The gender gap in math and science is not hard to find—just scroll through the mathematics department’s faculty roster, where out of 28 tenured professors, just one is female. Or take a jaunt across the E-quad--less than a third of Pratt undergrads are women. MIT even has a popular saying about this phenomenon. For female students seeking boyfriends, the odds are good…but the goods are odd.
For the heads of a laboratory, Laurent Dubois and Deborah Jenson have an unusual set of credentials. Yes, you can call them “doctor,” but look closely: those PhD’s are in history and French. They spend far more time combing Caribbean archives than mixing chemicals and they know more about Haitian Creole than the periodic table.
In the Fall of 1972, 900 students packed into Page Auditorium to listen to President Terry Sanford deliver his opening remarks to the inaugural class of the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. In many ways, the group of fresh-faced first-years gathered that night resembled those who had come before them—privileged, white Southerners at a regional university whose star was beginning to rise nationally. But there was one characteristic that made this class different: among their ranks were 300 women who would attend Duke alongside their male colleagues for the first time.